Le Dome is the jewel in the portfolio of Jonathan Maltus, a British merchant often credited with starting the garagiste movement in St. Emilion. Le Dome was the first produced in 1996 and is based on vines planted in 1956 and 1970 on sandy soils supported by iron-rich subsoils. Unusual for St. Emilion, the seven acre vineyard, which is adjacent to Chateau Angelus, is planted to 80% cabernet franc and 20% merlot. The assemblage of the 2008 is 75% cab franc and was aged in 80% new oak. About 750 cases were produced.
|Color & Type
The Le Dome Grand Cru is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. Vines for this release are cropped low – around 30 hectoliters per hectare – four bunches to the vine (less than half the volume authorized by the Appellation), thus ensuring its incredible concentration.
The fruit is hand-harvested then sorted, first by bunch then grape-by-grape. Fermentation takes place in wooden vats after extremely cold maceration. Malolactic fermentation and aging takes place in new French oak barrels.
Le Dome has the highest Cabernet Franc percentage of any wine in Bordeaux and is said to be the biggest expression of that grape in the region. The wine is full-bodied but has elegance and finesse. The optimal drinking window is very broad, from just a few years to more than 25 years after the vintage.
Founded in 1996, Le Dome is allegedly the biggest expression of Cabernet Franc of any Bordeaux wine – surpassing Chateau Cheval Blanc and Le Dome’s neighbor, Chateau Angelus. Its origins have their roots in the ‘garage’ movement of the 1990’s. Jonathan Maltus of Chateau Teyssier, the estate’s creator, was at the epicenter of this movement, with his sought-after wine Le Dome being one of the top three cult wines from the region.
The vines, planted from 1960 to 1970, are on 3.20 hectares of sandy soils above a layer of light clay with a Crasse de Fer (iron deposits). The iron deposits, coupled with the south facing slope, ensure amazing drainage, keeping the vines seeking moisture.
Maltus produces eight Saint-Emilion wines, ranging from the estate wines Chateau Teyssier and Chateau Laforge, as well as limited-release single vineyard wines Le Dome, Le Carre, Les Asteries, and Vieux Chateau Mazerat. Maltus has also ventured into Napa Valley, with single-vineyard wines produced under the World's End label.